ORIENTATION

by Jennie J.

If I were a university tour guide,
I’d probably take them down
All the wrong paths.
Behind lovely marble facades
See here where I cried?
Drunk and alone and wait
This isn’t what they wanted you to see.
On my tour, we spiral
Unmoored to the guideposts to the good life
Watch a person disintegrate before your eyes
Zero to sixty and there I go—
I’ve got all the magic tricks
Locked and loaded.

I should warn you:
On this tour we never quite make it
to the epicenter of happy.
We trip and stumble on the way
To bright lights
(Powered by positive affirmations)
Fall out of reach of gold stars
(Fueled by high self-esteem)
Miss the boat on the river of flourishing
And then we will be exhausted.
I haven’t thought much
about what comes after that.

Sorry,
Did you think I was taking us to happiness?
Not today.
Today I don’t want to be a path.
A stone, perhaps.
Or a chair.
Just something less
Volatile than a cyclone.
That would be good enough for me.